When Pantheon by Eric Syrdal first released on Amazon, it was my pleasure to review it. This incredible epic poem is now being re-released through Indie Blues Publishing.
Photo courtesy of Jon Barmore
Pantheon, the debut novel by Eric Syrdal, is unique. His free verse poetry weaves mythology for modern times while being entertaining, insightful, and visionary in its scope. Told in semi-epic verse, his passion within each tale skillfully blends modern constructs with ancient forms. Mixed within are fairy tales and spaceships, where you’ll find characters you not only want them as a part of your life but want to be them.
This genuinely ambitious work is creativity at its best. The compelling story within Pantheon is on a level with Homer’s Odyssey or Virgil’s Aeneid.
Just as these epics are rooted in the mythology of their time, Eric has carved new mythology for ours.
Mythologies have existed as long as our species has been able to communicate. Myth has provided us with explanations for the world around us, and answers for existential questions such as:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
For centuries, artists have turned to ancient myth as reference for their art. Today, I have finished reading modern mythology worthy of being added to the archives of inspiration. For if a picture is worth a thousand words, contained within this debut novel by Eric Syrdal is a museum’s worth of art.
Syrdal’s heroines are; The Queen of Hearts, Grace, Karma, Courage, Fate, Mercy, and Hope. The story unfolds as our narrator meets or reconnects with these personifications of human concepts, for what else is a god or goddess, who have each influenced and assisted the hero through his many journeys.
The many tales woven throughout the myths of Pantheon create a rich tapestry, showing us in vivid imagery the journey through a multi-verse of genres. Our protagonist explores worlds set in Science-fiction, Fantasy, and Time Travel as he learns what he really seeks. Eric Syrdal has blended these concepts and different visions of reality with skill and deftness surpassing any single genre story. The imagination required to create this mythos is greater than the sum of its parts.
To experience life in all of its variety, the joy, and heartbreak, and it all echoes the spirit within so we may experience the exhilaration of life. This hero’s quest is not one to save the world, but ultimately, ourselves, as the tales unfold, the questions asked, only to find we are the answer.
The semi-autobiographical mirror held up by Eric Syrdal reflects not only paths he has trodden but sheds light on the path we have chosen for ourselves. It demonstrates why we should be deliberate in our travels, not settling, but choosing only the path with heart for you. The way will not always be easy, but if you take the traditional way, you may never realize your own potential.
An epic poem, the style was as enjoyable to read as it was fresh. My eyes flowed as freely as the verse over each page. The drama, humor, and flights of fancy, as you follow, will keep you turning page after page. For within are multilayered depths of meaning and experience. I have followed Eric’s writing for many years, was able to watch as this incredible work developed, and with each reading, I find new concepts to regard and consider.
One of my favorite myths within Pantheon is Amor Vincit Omnia (Love Conquers All), which is the story of Fate. If it does not move you, then you may need to check your heart.
I want to offer this short excerpt from the myth ‘The Dragon and the Damsel.’
“This time it’s not a roar
it is a sorrowful
of an animal that is realizing
and the odds of escaping
with its life
are not good…
‘Never heard that before’ says Angel as she takes her first
steps toward the door sword in hand.
Courage smiles, ‘All this time you’ve heard what it sounds like when it’s in control. When it’s on top. Now…for the first
time, dear Angel, you will know what it sounds like
when it is afraid. And it is. It is afraid of you.’
They step through
the doorway to engage
in a battle,
the outcome of which,
is not only a victory for one woman’s soul
but for the soul of mankind.”
Please look for more by Eric Syrdal on his blog My Sword and Shield
and on Facebook.
Thank you for reading,